1. So what does the Shade-A-Rella do?
The Shade-A-Rella is a shade cloth holder meant to help protect plants that are getting too much sun. You can individually shade a single plant. Think of it as a plant umbrella or plant shade. It can protect your plant during the hottest part of the day, usually 11am to about 2pm. Your plant will still get morning and afternoon sun. The large Shade-a-Rella come with a ground receiver for the rod, two piece rod sections and the shade cloth holder. The small shade-a-rella have a 15" zinc coated rod included.
2. What is the difference between the types of shade cloth?
We have three basic types of cloth we use right now. The thicker shade cloth is between 86% and 95% shading (meaning it blocks that much sun) which might be the most helpful for most plants. We also have the 60% shade cloths that allow 40% sun through and have a more open weave to allow more rain to come through as well. We also have some 100% shade cloth with the shimmers we use with the small shade holders but it isn't really meant to be an outdoor cloth and the color will fade (but they are still pretty).
4. How do I decide where to place my Shade-A-Rella?
Check out our Placement video under the Video Tab. The sun will be in different positions throughout the year so you might need to adjust your placement once or twice during the year. Depending upon where you live and what direction you are facing you might need to have your shade-a-rella a few feet away from you plant to be shaded. It is about the shadow falling across your plant more than the shade-a-rella being right over your plant. It might be best to try and place your Shade-a-Rella at around noon so the shadow is over your plant. The ground receiver will be 3 or 4 feet away from your plant and the shade holder is often not right over your plant but often a foot or two away so the shadow is in the right place. The rod will bend slightly as well. Once you see that the shadow will be over your plant when the sun is the hottest, you can tighten down the set screw on the ground receiver and your plant should be good!
5. The rod doesn't go into the receiver on the shade-a-rella very easily, what do I do?
There are 4 little bolts and nuts holding the rod receiver to the shade-a-rella and these can be loosened and tightened as needed. The Rod should fit snuggly in this receiver. The holder can rotate on the rod which is helpful but you want to tighten those nuts if it is too loose. The bolts use a small Phillips head screw driver. I am sorry I can't send a screw driver with each Shade-A-Rella but I think most households have a phillips screw driver.
6. Will these be okay if it is windy?
These are sturdy enough and heavy enough to not fly away in a good breeze. The rods also have some flexibility so they bounce in the breeze which I really love. The wind can also go through the cloth since these are woven fabrics. But I would not test them in really strong winds or tornado situations. The original is still in my yard in Southern California and has survived many Santa Ana wind events over the years as well as heavy rain.
7. Can I find these in stores?
These are made in the USA in Southern California in my small shop. I am hoping to find a manufacturer so I can place larger orders to eventually be able to offer them in gardening centers. But for now, they are only online in the Shade-A-Rella store. We are hoping to get on Shark Tank and have Lori Greiner love our product and take us on so we can grow and offer more designs!